Thursday, July 13, 2006

Politics: Bad moon rising.

So, finally fed up with Hizbollah antics along its northern frontier, Israel has once again taken a poke at Lebanon. Of course, they are still engaged with Palestinian terrorists the Palestinian government in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and New York City. Israel hasn't been engaged on that many fronts since 1973, and in 1973 there weren't US and Coalition boots on the ground just a few hundred miles away.

Now, there have been US and Coalition boots on the ground in Mesopotamia before, but at that time, the civilized world wasn't forcing a showdown with the possibly-nuclear-armed country next door. And the last time the civilized world was worried about Iran, there weren't international troops putting the smackdown on Mujahedeen guerillas in Afghanistan. And the last time foreign troops were fighting Islamic guerillas in Afghanistan, said guerillas weren't blowing up civilians in India. (Who has nukes, and hasn't any love lost for Pakistan, which has always been Muj Central.)

So, what we have here is a rising storm of conflict, brewing along an arc running from the mouths of the Indus to the Nile Delta. Civilization's home turf, as it were, is sporting very few signs of it these days. That may be the soil where writing and agriculture and beer and other good things first sprang from, but that's not all that was invented there, and sometimes it shows.

It looks like we're in for some interesting times.


Lizard said...


"War flares in Mideast" is sort of along the same lines as "Hollywood marriage ends in divorce", "Pope decries sin", or "Rap concert ends in gang brawl". It's not news, it's olds. I seriously doubt anyone will bring out the nukes. If they do, though, there's a dark and grim part of me which says "Fine. Just do it, already. Turn the whole damn area to a green glass parking lot and forget about it."

If people want to kill each other that badly, sometimes, you just have to shrug and let them get on with it. There's so much anger and hatred on both sides that a real lasting peace is likely not possible. Even if all the various governments signed all the right papers, there's too many individuals with grudges and vendettas left behind. Some Israeli will machine-gun a mosque to avenge his brother, or some Palestinean will blow himself up in the name of his father, and the whole thing will start all over again before the ink is dry.

Yeah, I'm cynical. And usually right. Which, in turn, makes me more cynical.

Tam said...

Well, it's not the Arab/Israeli angle that has my interest piqued.

Imagine an Arab/Israeli war going on concurrently with Desert Storm, a low-level guerilla fight in the Afghan hills, and an outright India-v.-Pakistan grudge match.

The possibilities for a screwup of a global nature haven't been this good since a chauffer took a wrong turn in Sarajevo 92 years ago.

B&N said...


Your observations are, as usual, spot on.

Relax. With your arsenal and knowledge, you could easily hold off all of the lesser armies of world by yourself, and at least a few of the major ones. ;)

BTW, where's the best deal these days on surplus ammo, ya know...just in case...the whole Doomsday thing and all.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Have you a small supply of potassium iodide pills?

Anonymous said...

Times like this are when I find not having a family to take care of to be beneficial. Instead of being scared for the future and if the kids will be needed by the government in a few years or what the wife will look like as radiation peels her skin off, I can sit back with a cold beer and say, "well damn, that's interesting. wonder how it'll go down?", then cook down some hardwood to put grill marks on a steak.

Yuri Orlov said...

How about we just build a big wall around the whole middle east, let them fight it out and then kill the victors. Seriously, this is getting old. Like was said before, if some people want to kill each other that badly, there's nothing or noone in the world that's going to stop them.

Rustmeister said...

You have to look at the geography.

We've put ourselves in position to sandwich most of our adversaries. We have Syria between us in Iraq and Israel, we have Pakistan between us and India, and we have Iran between us... and us.

This is what's been in the works since day one. It's the big picture, and its been put into motion. Either they flinch, or the poop hits the propeller. Sounds a little batty on my part, but I've been saying it since we went into Iraq.

phlegmfatale said...

I'll never forget the day when I was a teenager watching the news of tension in the Mideast, dad made the astute observation "Them people sure love throwing rocks." Quite. Funny how a moment rife with dangerous electricity like this can make one long for the simple joys of backward morons pelting each other with merely the nearest stones at hand.

I don't know how you do it, Tam, but somehow your comment "the possibilities for a screwup of a global nature haven't been this good since a chauffer took a wrong turn in Sarajevo 92 years ago" manages to be hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. Too frighteningly true. Crap. If holy hell breaks out, does this mean I'll have to stop blogging about shoes, Neiman Marcus and my belly-button lint?

T.Stahl said...

Yeah, the situation is downright 'Clancyesque'.

There! I created a new word!

But I wouldn't buy it if it was one of his books. Would be 1500 pages thick, half of which he'd spend on knitting the plots, and only 100 pages of action at the end.

Tom said...

At times like this I'm remembered to that line in that great Burt Reynolds/Dolly Parton movie, "Best little Whorehouse in Texas". That politician dude is being interviewed by some newsie and is asked his opinion on the strife in the middle east and the politician says something to the effect of "This would all clear up if those people would act in a more christian manner".